Learn two programming languages at once – should you do it?

So you want to be a coder? Or maybe you’re already coding but you’d like to learn more languages. Should you learn two programming languages at once? The answer is – it depends. In this post, we look at the pros and cons of learning multiple programming languages simultaneously and give some tips on how to make it work for you.

It is possible to learn two programming languages at the same time, and in some cases, it can be recommended, such as is the case with HTML and CSS. HTML and CSS work hand in hand and learning them at once could make your coding journey easier.

I recently started my coding journey (January 2022) and asked myself, “Can I learn two programming languages simultaneously?”It didn’t take me long to stumble across the answer, a resounding yes, by the way.

You can, and in some instances should learn two programming languages simultaneously. When considering what languages to learn together the biggest consideration should be syntax. If they are similar, like HTML and CSS then you should learn two programming languages at the same time.

Can you learn multiple programming languages at once

Yes, you can learn two programming languages simultaneously, but depending on which languages you are pairing together, this may make your learning process take longer.

Here are a few things you should consider before starting:

What programming languages do you want to learn?

It is important to choose languages that are related to each other. Learning two related programming languages will make it easier to learn and remember the syntax and features of each language.

What are your goals?

Are you looking to become a full-stack developer? Or are you just looking to learn a few new languages? Knowing your goals will help you tailor your learning plan accordingly.

Is it possible to learn multiple programming languages at once?

Yes, it is possible but in reality, you could probably learn two programming languages just as quickly if you started with one, finished it and then moved on to your second language rather than learning them together. It would likely take longer as each language has its own syntax, and learning different syntaxes together could create confusion, specifically as a beginner.

The exception to the above is when two languages go hand in hand.

Learn two programming languages at once

If you have made it this far into the article, I can only assume that you are busy researching if you should start your coding journey or have just begun yours. Before we get into which programming languages you should learn together, you first need to know “Which programming language should I learn first”. Luckily I have just published an article on this. Spoiler! It’s HTML. You can find out why here.

So what two programming languages should you learn at the same time? The answer is HTML and CSS. Learning HTML and CSS together can actually make you a better programmer overall!

HTML and CSS are two of the most popular programming languages globally. They are used to create websites, and web applications.HTML is used to structure the content on a website, while CSS is used to style the content. Together, HTML and CSS create a cohesive web page.

While technically speaking, HTML and CSS are not programming languages but rather markup languages. These noble markup languages are the skeleton behind pretty much every website that exists! As an added benefit HTML is pretty easy to learn, you can read this article on how long it took me to learn HTML from scratch.

How HTML and CSS work together

HTML plays very well with and in fact, needs CSS to make beautiful websites.  

If you read my article about why HTML should be the first programming language you learn, you know that you get the confidence boost from having your first “programming language” under your belt.

Most people would then go from HTML to CSS and then likely Javascript. When you are learning CSS, you also start to learn more about HTML, how to structure your HTML document and mark it up in a better manner. When learnt early these lessons will save you hours later down the line.

By learning HTML and CSS together, you will learn how to structure and style content on the web. making you a better programmer because you will better understand how websites work. In addition, learning multiple programming languages can help you become a better problem solver.

What to be careful of when learning HTML and CSS together 

HTML is a relatively easy language to learn, which is why I suggest that you learn it first when you start your coding journey. Don’t get caught thinking that CSS is just making things look pretty. Compared to HTML, CSS is much more advanced and will take you longer to learn. Significantly longer than HTML. At one point, I got stuck for 4 hours just trying to get a background image to do what I wanted.

I am not telling you this to scare or deter you. I am telling you this so that you know what to expect. When I was investigating my coding journey, most developers spoke about CSS like we all naturally know and understand it. Allow me to clear this up as a newbie in your shoes. CSS is not easy, it is complex, but it is also very powerful. Once you become familiar with it, you will build beautiful websites and trust me, you will be very proud of yourself when you do!

What I am trying to say is don’t feel despondent if it takes you longer to learn CSS than HTML; you are not alone. Don’t feel silly for getting stuck with something so “basic as CSS”. You are learning a new skill. A new skill that few have, hence why the demand for programmers is so high, and HTML and CSS are the core of the skills. Build your house on a strong foundation so that you can build a skyscraper!

In general, CSS and coding or programming are completely new concepts, which is why I recommended learning HTML first. By learning HTML first, you kickstart your journey quickly with a dose of confidence, which will help you learn CSS faster.


When deciding if you can learn two programming languages at once, consider the syntax of the languages and how the two languages work together.

If both of the programming languages you are considering learning together have very similar syntax, it may be beneficial to learn them together. If you are wondering about learning HTML and CSS together, these languages work hand in hand and, in my opinion,  should be learnt together.

Still on the fence about starting your coding journey? Are you wondering if Programming is hard to learn? Click here to find out my answer.

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